October 4, 2017
I have a new definition of ‘democracy’. Actually it’s more a judgement of the level of democracy. It’s the way a country treats it’s minorities.
In all societies, minorities will have complaints. In most cases, they are bona fide complaints, at least in the eyes of that particular minority.
But once we recognise that, by natural definition, a minority will never be treated ‘equally’ and will always have something to complain about (consider the tragic residents of Grenfell Towers in London), then we can see the differences.
Try being a minority in Iran. We hear so much about the oppressed intelligentsia and dream of their re-emergence. But what about the Arabs, the Azeris and the Baloch people. Don’t you dare say “we don’t hear about them, therefore…”. We don’t hear from them, because of the undemocratic oppression.
Try being a Jew in Jordan, Saudi or Kuwait. Oh, I forgot, there are none.
Try being an Arab, a Moslem, a Christian (even Baha’i, Jehovah Witness or Mormon) in Israel. Then, finally, a light will be lit, and the definition of democracy will clarify itself.
And what about ‘independence’? We read these days about Catalonia. They have many legal and moral claims for independence from Spain. But where do you draw the line? Just how separate and separated does one want to be, before isolation takes over?
Kurdistan also had a referendum recently. Their need for independence is slightly more obvious than the Catalans. They appear to have so few rights. I’ve been so many times to Catalonia – we’ve booked our ‘big family get-together’ there next year. I don’t see much missing from freedom of choice and ability to succeed.
Catalonia’s current autonomy is already so powerful; very similar to that of Scotland from UK. So there’s an imbalance of funds out and services in? Ask Germany how much it has helped the Southern European countries. It’s easy to complain, but what happened to unity?
And talk about unity…A delegation of over 400 PA (Palestinian Authority) visited Gaza recently. Basically, it was Fatah trying to unite with Hamas (rulers in Gaza), so that it can take full control of the Palestinian people, and therefore receive greater recognition in the eyes of the the international community. Ideally, Israel would also welcome such unity IF, and that’s an enormous IF, decency, democracy and peaceful ambitions were the result. But Hamas is Hamas. Enough said.
And if you consider the feverish churning of the Middle East, and the ins and outs of relationships with the Palestinians, you would realise that there is no even long-term chance of Hamas making peace. Look at the involvement of and with Egypt, Moslem Brotherhood, Iran, Qatar, UAE, Lebanon, Hezbollah, to name but a few, and try to assure me that ‘all will be OK’.
I want to see 24-hour electricity on Gaza. I want there to be 24-hour running water, construction of homes and destruction of tunnels, and I want to see sailboats on the sea which, when watched through IDF binoculars, turn out to be….sailboats.